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In pictures: inside the world's narrowest house


November 5, 2012

Etgar Keret inside Keret House (Photo: Bartek Warzecha, © Polish Modern Art Foundation)

Etgar Keret inside Keret House (Photo: Bartek Warzecha, © Polish Modern Art Foundation)

Image Gallery (21 images)

The world's narrowest house, Keret House opened towards the end of October in the former Jewish Ghetto district of Warsaw, Poland. The interior photography reveals a surprisingly roomy interior.

As we reported last year, the extraordinarily narrow house built opportunistically in an alley, varies in width, being 122 cm (48 in) at its widest interior span, and just 72 cm (28 in) at its narrowest.

Yet its diminutive size failed to prevent architect Jakub Szczesny from squeezing in a kitchen, dining room, WC and shower room, as well as a bedroom (with single bed, naturally). By day it's a surprisingly well-lit space, a characteristic which Szczesny attributes to the polycarbonate materials used, which are light in color while maximizing the interior width.

Entry is by stair up from ground level, and when it comes to access to the main living area, it's ladder or nothing.

Keret House, as it has come to be called, takes its name from Etgar Keret, the Israeli author who will spend time (if not actually live) there.

Take to the gallery for some interior shots of this unusual construction.

Source: Polish Modern Art Foundation

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

This is not a nice thing. I would think that most people would go mad, living there. It would be interesting to note what happens to anyone who lives there for some time.


I love how everything needs to be "World's somethingest", with no regard whatsoever to eons of history, anyplace in the third world, or generally anyplace other than whatever country is making the claim. A billion people live in slums. Now put your hand on your heart and tell me that none of them have a narrower house than this guy.

Reminds me of Monty Python - (Four Yorkshiremen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo )


Does not look like a good utilisation of space in terms of the ratio between volume of living areas against volume of access areas. And I'll bet as a result the cost per square foot of living area is disastrous. So what is the point of the structure?

David Tobin

Am I allowed three comments at one go?

Image 14 of 21: Is that a plan of the house (rather model, in case Etgar gets lost!) above the electric strip? And what is the gadget with a screen? a thermostat?

Good jobe he's alone, kids would get bored playing in a straight line all the time!

Was one of the conditions of the project that the house shouldn't touch either of the adjacent buildings? I'm sure they could get 20cm more width by using the original walls as a support.


I can easily imagine myself going mad in this place. That said, it would make an excellent spaghetti warehouse.


@agulesin, I get the feeling one of the conditions of the house was that it had to be prefabricated off site and then installed - that's why it didn't make use of the existing adjacent buildings' walls (plus whatever legalities would be involved - brick falls and does damage, does he sue the neighbor building owner?)

Certainly this is a lifestyle that would promote celibacy.

On the other hand, as a place to stuff your mother-in-law...

Bob Fately

I would go mad living there. Seriously.

Joe Sobotka

Thanks for all the pictures of this curious space. Not really a "house." Makes me think of Edgar Allan Poe, for some reason.

Jennifer Jarratt

MC Escher? I remember doing a mental design exercise of using stacked insulated railroad box cars for a house... a lot of space is devoted to vertical circulation and lateral structure (being in the Bay Area). While possible, I don't think I'd like to live there - especially now that I'm married!

Ruth Vallejos

This makes living in an RV or train look positively spacious.

Dox Doxiadis

Well, I think I could live in it, if I consider some options. I saw many a cardboard house that were much worse.

Christopher: fabulous clip to post. Gave me a good laugh.

To the architect: well done! I can't imagine a better utilization of the space by any other architect. I appreciate it for what it is: an opportunity to expand the human mind into what is possible when it seems there's nothing that can be done.

Dr. Veritas
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